Yoga Moves for Tough Guys


When it comes to working out, tough guys have long adhered to the "no pain, no gain" philosophy. According to experts, however, this belief is not only faulty, but it can result in serious injury. While physical training can be rigorous, pain is not a prerequisite for success. It may actually be a warning from within one's body to slow down or change routines.

Men have traditionally preferred competitive contact sports, but the need to win can be hard on the physical body and emotional health, as well. Professional athletes, along with other sports enthusiasts, are discovering that the practice of Yoga can help them function more effectively in contact sports, and increase their overall health and wellbeing, at the same time.

20 Ways Yoga Moves Help Tough Guys

• Teaches breathing techniques that make it easier to work through strenuous or painful routines

• Helps to release and balance uneven muscle patterns entrenched by years of rigorous training

• Improves flexibility and relaxes tight muscles

• Gives a different perspective and appreciation for "gentler" methods of exercise

• Increases awareness of sensations within the body

• Cultivates patience and helps to let go of perfectionism

• Makes other training programs more effective

• Helps to prevent injuries or to recover more quickly

• Tones muscles and improves posture

• Aids in weight control

• Slows down the aging process

• Enhances immune system and improves general health

• Encourages healthy sleep patterns

• Boosts concentration and mental acuity

• Improves organ function and circulation

• Releases endorphins that improve mood

• Enhances endurance and performance

• Breaks down lactic acid, resulting from sustained physical activity

• Works entire body

• Removes toxins from the body

If these reasons are not enough to convince tough guys of the benefits of yoga, these recent news stories might do the trick:

• Swami Bua - a Yogi, not listed in record books, because there is no written record of his birth - died in 2010, at an estimated age of 120. He could stop his circulation; and, in his later years, was still able to blow a conch shell for up to five minutes, during one breath, each year at an annual gathering, honoring the United Nations in New York City.

• Wim Hof broke his own world record in 2008 by spending for 1 hour, 13 minutes, and 48 seconds immersed in ice. He used Tummo breathing - a practice used by Yogi Monks in Tibet - to control his body temperature.

Chances are - not many men want to spend days blowing conch shells or using breathing techniques to stay alive on a freezing mountain, but these examples do illustrate the amazing power of Yoga and its potential to enable seemingly insurmountable feats. They leave little doubt of Yoga's usefulness in the field of competitive sports and other arduous physical endeavors.

Although there are many Yoga moves (asanas) to challenge one's strength and fortitude, the following is a short list for competitive athletes of both genders.

Yoga Moves for Tough Guys

The Sun Salutations Sequence

Dolphin Pose

Head Stand

Hand Stand

Crow Pose

Wheel Pose

Lord of the Dance Pose

As always, please consult with your primary physician or medical specialist, before starting a new exercise program. Proper instruction with a certified and competent Yoga teacher is recommended. Any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries must be respected by modifying techniques.

© Copyright 2011 - Aura Wellness Center - Publications Division

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, has written many books on the subject of Yoga. He is a co-owner and the Director of Yoga Teacher Training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. He has been a certified Master Yoga Teacher since 1995. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit: